Valentino Rossi's 14-year partnership with legendary crew chief Jerry Burgess is to end at this weekend's Valencia MotoGP season finale.

Burgess is the most successful crew chief in motorcycle grand prix history and has been at Rossi's side since his 2000 premier-class debut.

But Rossi has decided that change is needed for 2014 - the final year of his existing Yamaha contract - and confirmed at Valencia on Thursday that the 60-year-old Australian will not be in his corner next season.

"I think that next year Jeremy will not be my chief mechanic," said Rossi. "It was a very difficult decision for me because I have a great history with Jeremy. He is not just my chief mechanic, he is like a part of the family. My 'father' for racing.

"But I decide for next year I need to change something to try to find new motivation and a new boost - to improve my level, my speed. I think that this is our last race together with Jerry, yes."

Burgess has won world titles with Rossi (7), Mick Doohan (5) and Wayne Gardner (1) and also worked with the likes of Randy Mamola, Ron Haslam and Freddie Spencer.

After starting his grand prix carer with Suzuki, Burgess had been a Honda employee for 21 years by the time he - alongside mechanics Bernard Anciau, Alex Briggs and Gary Coleman - made the high-risk move with Rossi to Yamaha for 2004.

Together Rossi, Burgess and Yamaha pulled off one of the biggest upsets in MotoGP, turning a bike that had claimed just one podium the previous season into Yamaha's first riders' title since 1992. Rossi went on to win the MotoGP crown from 2001-2005, then again in 2008 and 2009.

The Italian broke his leg during 2010 while his next team change, to Ducati in 2011, was to prove 'painful' for different reasons. Rossi took just three podiums in two years - the Desmosedici's handling problems remaining unresolved to this day - before cutting his loses for a race-winning return, accompanied by Burgess and his mechanics, to Yamaha in 2013.

Although rarely a challenge for team-mate and reigning champion Jorge Lorenzo, Rossi has claimed six podiums and will finish fourth in the standings regardless of this result in Sunday's Valencia race.

"I'm quite satisfied but not fully satisfied," said Rossi of 2013. "I have to try to be stronger and faster. The target is to try to fight with the top three. This season it happens sometimes but not enough. We have to continue to work. But we have had some very good races, some podiums and especially one victory."

If nothing else, the decision shows that 34-year-old Rossi is still hungry enough for success to take some very difficult decisions. His new crew chief is yet to be announced.

Rossi has only started two premier-class grands prix without Burgess - both in 2011 - when Burgess returned to Australia to support his sick wife.


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